Monthly Archives: August 2017

What Is An Online Business Manager

Are you a successful woman entrepreneur whose multiple 6-figure business feels out of control?

Are you stuck? Overwhelmed? Frustrated?

Ever thought seriously about walking away because you’re so bogged down with business operations that you can’t follow your passion?

If this sounds like you, it’s time to find an online business manager.

What’s an Online Business Manager?

According to Tina Forsyth, the author of Becoming an Online Business Manager, the official definition of an Online Business Manager (OBM) is:

A virtually based support professional who manages online based businesses, including the day-to-day management of projects, operations, team members, and metrics.

An OBM isn’t a virtual assistant who performs tasks. He or she is a professional business manager who runs the company’s daily operations to give the owner energy and time to focus on strategic growth. The OBM gives the owner permission to be the Visionary and serve her clients, plan the company’s growth and future, and use her gifts to their fullest potential.

The OBM keeps all the balls in the air as the Integrator of the business. Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters first defined the Integrator role in their book, Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination that Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business. The Integrator harmoniously combines the major functions of the business (sales, marketing, operations, and finance), runs the organization, and manages day-to-day issues. This role is literally the glue that holds the people, processes, systems, and strategy of the company together.

The Integrator creates space so the business owner, the Visionary, can fully step into the CEO role and do what she’s called to do-change the world.

Finding an Integrator for your business would take a big load off your mind and off your plate, wouldn’t it?

I help women business owners who need that time and space. For the past eight years, as an Integrator in my clients’ businesses, I’ve had the great honor of making someone else’s vision happen.

You can’t do it all, and you don’t want to.

When you started your business, you had to wear all the hats. You had to be the visionary and the manager. You knew it wasn’t your best fit, but you could do it until the business grew a little and you could hire help.

Soon you hired someone to take care of the tedious work, but you couldn’t let go of much more. You still needed to lead and manage alone. You told your family (and yourself) that wearing both hats wouldn’t last much longer and you could handle it.

Now, your business keeps growing and you spend way too much time managing and not enough time leading and serving. You don’t have enough time to decide where the business is going because you’re trying to keep up with managerial tasks you never wanted.

You started your business to change the world and to have the freedom to enjoy life. At this point, you can’t do either because you can’t get out of that manager role long enough to catch your breath!

Hitting the ceiling is inevitable. Every successful woman entrepreneur I’ve seen comes to the point where she’s exhausted and can go no farther – she can’t continue to manage and grow the business by herself. She needs online business management services so she can move into the CEO position and Visionary role to grow her company.

Transform your business with an OBM

Your business needs a Visionary and an Integrator to be successful, and you can’t be both for long and sustainable growth. As the Visionary, you need an Integrator to implement and drive your vision, and your Integrator needs you to lead the company’s direction and strategize its future.

My specialty is working with multiple 6-figure clients who have hit that growth ceiling. They know they can’t continue being in charge of everything. I’m an Online Business Consultant, Certified Online Business Manager, and most importantly, a diehard Integrator in every sense of the term.

My clients are high-achieving women entrepreneurs who want to change the world, and their visions are huge. They have proven business models that generate multiple 6-figure+ revenues. Their desire to build an empire is inspirational, and they’re ready to turn over the reins of management to a trusted professional who will move the business forward.

The Home Based Business Explosion Is Upon Us!

INTRODUCTION

Perhaps I should start by asking the question “What is a Home Based Business? This is any business operated from the comfort of the residential home of the owner.

The next question is who is a Home Based Business owner? This refers to an Entrepreneur who decides to run his business from the comfort of his home.

I decided to clarify these terms because there is a huge difference between a Home Based Business owner and a Home worker who might be working with a government/private organization but decides to be working from home once or twice during the week.

Evolution of Home based Business

Many businesses operated from home usually start as a Micro or Small Enterprise. Some eventually metamorphose into Medium Scale Enterprise and others eventually grow into quite large companies.

The desire by Entrepreneurs to start operating businesses from home actually started in the 1980s. During this period, a lot of things combined to precipitate this massive desire by people to own Home based businesses.

In the main, the combination of many factors like socio- economic change, improved technology and new management thinking resulted in the loss of otherwise permanent paid employment and this encouraged people to attempt to revalidate their freedom by opting to set up a business at home.

The advent of new management thinking and theories like downsizing to make an organization Lean and more agile and efficient created fears in the mind of the average worker

So mass lay- offs helped create the right environment for some workers to go it alone and set up a Home based business.

The period of late 1990 to 2010 can be appropriately described as the period of massive explosion in the establishment of businesses at home. The use of Computer, Internet and Mobile Technology helped in the growth of this idea.

I strongly believe the idea of setting up business at home will continue to be positive and will remain so for a long time.

The continued upsurge in the desire of people to own businesses has attracted the attention of Universities and other higher institutions. They have responded by introducing different courses and programs on Entrepreneurial studies to cater for these needs.

Unlike earlier belief that businesses run from home are not well managed and don’t make good money, the present situation is that many Entrepreneurs motivated to set up business at home now have college degrees including a lot of high level professionals with business exposure.

The entrepreneurial spirit is innate in all of us and we only need to be adequately motivated to take the necessary action.

It’s really an exciting world out there.

THE HOME BASED BUSINESS EXPLOSION

As stated earlier, though the crave for running businesses from home started way back in the 1980s, what can be termed the explosion of this way of doing business was between the late 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium.(2010+)

This coincided with the time when the setting up of a Home based business became a Fad. According to Mr Lewis of the National Association of Home Based Businesses, Home based business in the United States grew from about 6 million in 1984 to 23 million by 2007.

With the help of modern technology like computers, mobile phones, printers and the huge power of the internet, more work is being done virtually than ever before and more global businesses are routinely being run from home.

According to the 2012 GEM report, 69 percent of American entrepreneurs start their business at home from either a spare room in the house, the dining table or from the garage. The report further revealed that more than 50 percent of entrepreneurs continue to operate from home even after the business has taken off successfully and stabilized.

Again according to Mr. Lewis of the National Association of Home Based Businesses, his own companies do training in 20 countries, import eyeglass frames from China and also develop condominiums.

Mr. Nuyten of the Home Based Business Statistics in America quoted the following statistics as at 2012:

38 million Businesses were operating from residential homes in America

A new business is started from home every 12 seconds in the United States

The Home Based Business sector in the United States earned Four Hundred and Twenty Seven billion dollars.

It revealed that 70 percent of Americans would like to be self- employed.

Entrepreneurship has become entrenched in the psyche of the average person. The Baylor University study of 2005 revealed then that more than 5 million jobs had been lost in Fortune 500 companies since 1980 while 34 million were created in small businesses.

The United States Census Bureau data of October 2012, also revealed that the number of businesses being operated from home have been on the rise since 1999.

Six Challenges Facing Business Owners

Having spent the last few weeks meeting with and chatting to small business owners around Essex, it became clear that they all seem to face similar challenges on a day-to-day basis.

As I expected, they are all time poor and there was an ongoing sense from these company owners or directors that they should be ‘hands on’ and across every facet of their business. But, as they told me, they may know all about their business but sometimes they need expert support and guidance to ensure their company grows and increases profitability.

Some of the challenges they faced included:

Customers
Customers are at the heart of any business. Without customers and the revenue generated then the business becomes just a good idea. One of the main challenges they faced was how to attract, retain and maximise their customers?

For me, the key to winning new business and ensuring customer retention is providing not only great products or services but adding a great customer service experience. A strategy needs to be developed for ensuring this customer growth and maximizing revenues from existing customers.

Marketing
Many business owners are not marketing experts and need strategic advice when it comes to developing a business positioning, a marketing plan, a campaign and thinking about the channels they wish to promote their business through.

The challenge is to enable the business to tell its story in a way that enables the business to grow and build customer engagement. Bringing an experienced marketer into the business either in-house or as a consultant to help develop this strategy can allow the business owner to focus on what he does best.

Time
For many business owners there are simply not enough hours in a day. All owners are stretched for time. Creating more time means sometimes saying no and focussing on what is essential for the success of the business.

This is where business owner often seek external advice from a business mentor or consultant to get them to focus on what is critical for the development of the business.

Financial Management
It is imperative for a small or medium-sized business to manage their cashflow effectively but sometimes managing the P&L seemed to be the third or fourth ‘order of the day’ for some business owners.

Getting good financial advice from a consultant who takes the time to analyse business performance, looks at aged debtors, analyses client profitability and puts effective financial planning measures in place mitigates the risk of the business getting into financial troubles.

Profitability
Business Planning seemed to be a bit of an afterthought for some of the business owners I spoke with, they were working more ‘on the fly’. Annual Planning should start a minimum of four months before the end of the financial year and should start with a formal annual budget, understanding the profitability of each client/customer, growth opportunities, business development planning and an analysis of the overheads required to service those clients/customers, market and grow the business, generate a great customer experience as well as delivering a sustainable profit margin.

Successful business owners create wealth and grow their business because they understand how to build a culture where sustainable profitability is a given.

Processes
Many business owners are not across all the processes involved in running a business so the challenge is to make the processes involved in running a business simpler. This is where an external consultant or expert support can prove highly beneficial.

Failure to manage processes such as sales, marketing, business development, building customer loyalty, operational management, HR and employee development can lead to businesses failing. Being stretched across business functions is not the best way for business owners to develop their business.

Lucemi Consulting are a Strategic Marketing and Business Consultancy based in Colchester, Essex, UK.

We help business owners and companies by providing strategic advice to find the right solution for their business challenges. We take on their challenges, analyse the issues, and help them in a collaborative way to get to the answer.

We work in partnership with clients, helping them adapt and evolve to their business and market environment, building their capabilities to ensure real change happens.

We work with clients on business positioning, business planning and development, operational performance and brand and marketing strategies.

Are You Stuck in the Day-To-Day Operations of Your Business?

Business Operations is the compilation of all the activities carried out inside a company that keep it running and generating revenue.

In standard business plans, the operations section is dedicated to helping business owners understand what systems, tools, people, and processes will be needed for the company business model to function.

A few examples of business operations:

  • Creating and maintaining key systems needed to run a business, including customer service, billing, communications, marketing, deliver, and backup
  • Creation of processes, tools, and players for key systems within the business
  • Management of systems that control access and login information
  • Establishing decision-making guidelines for team members
  • Creation and maintenance of your Standard Operating & Procedures (SOP) guide
  • Setting up effective backup systems to control company information
  • Creation and management of systems that process payments
  • Implementation of business tools and software to manage multiple systems
  • Managing the process of delivering products and services to customers

The operations area is a constant segment of your business and requires daily attention.

And this where most women business owners get stuck!

In the beginning stages of your business, it was just you. Just you making all the daily decisions and executing the many tasks that must be performed each day to accomplish goals and strengthen your business model.

As your business model proved successful, the endless task list began to increase exponentially. Business decisions and responsibilities increased. Quiet, creative, and productive time to focus on growing the business was more and more limited and many times downright non-existent.

As women in business, we must stay focused on those areas of business that ONLY we can do – everything else must be delegated to a team!

The Visionary and CEO role in the business at this level needs to stay focused on very high-level leverage tasks that will grow your business, such as:

  • Big Picture Vision
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Delivery of Services
  • Content Creation
  • Creating New Products
  • Partnerships
  • New Sources of Traffic

Everything else you need to get off your plate – much of this lies in the day-to-day operations of your business.

If your business has reached six figures, hold on to your seat belt because your company has taken on a life of its own.

And this is the point where you are most likely feeling that you’ve hit a ceiling and are even feeling a bit burned out. You may not see how you will be able to grow past the current challenges.

Bad news… good news…

You won’t be able to break that ceiling when you are the only one in charge of everything. The good news is that it does not have to stay that way.

A seasoned online business manager is the perfect second-in-command to pull you out of the day-to-day operations and marketing management of the business. You’ll have the time, energy, and focus you need to work on those high-level leverage tasks that will grow the business.

You can’t possibly expect to grow if you don’t position someone else in your business to be your “Mini-Me” – to take the day-to-day operations and management of business off your plate with the support of a team. Your business is now bigger than you are, and in order for it to continue to grow, you must have your operations running smoothly and cost effectively.